LANDOVER, MD. - Back in the spotlight after watching Tampa Bay slip out of the sixth wild card spot, the Redskins enter Monday night with their hands back on the steering wheel. The Panthers (5-8) are virtually out of the playoff race, but are still playing to win each week.
Washington (7-5-1) has gained control of their own destiny again. If they win their last three games, they're a lock for the playoffs. Lose one and it
becomes awfully muddy in the wild card standings.
The 'Skins will be without linebacker Su'a Cravens (upper arm), and inside linebacker Will Compton is listed as doubtful (knee). If Compton can't go, second-year linebacker Martrell Spaight will step in, who head coach Jay Gruden has been high on the past week. "I think Will has set an example and high standard for Spaight to come in here and play," says Gruden. "We have confidence in him and I think he's going to do just fine."
Since 2007, Washington is 6-20 in primetime games. In their last 8:30 slot, the Redskins beat the Packers 42-24 in a Sunday night shootout at FedEx Field. "We understand that Monday Night Football there will be a lot of adrenaline, a lot of people watching obviously, but it is a big game for us to take care of the fundamentals and do the jobs we're supposed to do." says Gruden.
This is also Josh Norman's first game against his former team, who rescinded their franchise tag offer this offseason and ultimately ended up releasing him. "The good thing about Josh is it doesn't vary week-to-week. He gets up for everybody," says Gruden. "I know he's going to be the same as he is every week."
Norman was straightforward about the game. "I'm pretty sure they know me and how we roll and how we do things. No surrender, no mercy. I think they know that in me." says Norman.
Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. Live coverage from FedEx Field begins on News 3 at 4.